Unlocking Community Support: Akron City FC Launches Innovative Envelope Challenge to Rally Local Backing

By Matt Ralph/NPSL.com

Akron City FC owner Nick Turchan sought a distinctive approach to involve local businesses
and fans in supporting the team ahead of the upcoming NPSL season, and he found it in The
Envelope Challenge.
The Envelope Challenge, commonly used by nonprofits to offer various opportunities for donors
and supporters to contribute to the organization’s mission, has been adapted by Turchan for his
local soccer community.

“I’ve been exploring ways to broaden support as it is challenging for us to sell larger
sponsorships, many businesses we talk to don’t have the budgets for our larger packages and
frankly we are still a relatively new entity, the education process of who and what we are takes
time,” Turchan said. “With that said, we have had many businesses express an interest to come in
at smaller amounts and The Envelope Challenge provides an efficient platform for us to reach
and engage more local businesses.”

Turchan discovered the solution through Longevity Partners GP, a company based in
Chattanooga, Tennessee, and their online Envelope Challenge product.

“Creating avenues for organizations to raise funds in unconventional ways is the motivation
behind our Envelope Challenge,” said Shelly Elliott of Longevity Partners. “From local
businesses supporting the team with $400-$500 sponsorships to individuals purchasing
envelopes for under $20, this challenge allows fans of all levels to participate meaningfully,
potentially raising $125,000 from a single online campaign.”

Elliott and her team recognize the positive impact local soccer can have on a community,
drawing from their support of Chattanooga FC.

“Akron City FC demonstrates the effectiveness of connecting with supporters through initiatives
like the Envelope Challenge,” Elliott said.

Founded in 2021, Akron City FC, like many NPSL clubs, lacks a dedicated sales team to secure
major partnerships. The Envelope Challenge bridges this gap, offering local businesses a tangible
return on investment while enabling the team to engage with them effectively.

“The packages are very affordable and we are giving away a lot of free stuff, including replica
jerseys, hats, season tickets, free beer, free parking and free registration to our youth camps,”

Turchan said. “Businesses get signage at our stadium and robust visibility through our social
media channels. The fact that we are a small organization, allows us to be nimble and curate a
program that ensures a company is getting the ROI they want along with supporting a great
community asset.”

Launched in February, the challenge has garnered positive responses, prompting Turchan to
extend it throughout the season.

“Supporting Akron City FC as a sponsor directly contributes to the game’s authentic
development in our country,” Turchan said.

For Turchan, fostering Akron City’s growth aligns with his desire to contribute to the sport’s
health, expansion and growth in Northeast Ohio. Initiatives like The Envelope Challenge are
pivotal steps toward achieving this vision.

Photo Credit: Charles Murray

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